Hydrocephalus Figure 3

Figure 3: Hydrocephaly in 4-month-old rat
Case history and photos

History

Male rat (now 4 months old) was failing to thrive and his head was clearly domed. He
had motor coordination problems and did not interact with his littermates. It was later learned that the mother of this rat had uterine infection positive for the organism pasteurella, which may or may not have contributed to the condition. No other littermates were known to have developed hydrocephaly.

Clinical Signs

What is most obvious is the domed head. He also sways and pulls his head up and backward. Has tendency to bite and chew everything, but doesn’t bite very hard. Spatial awareness problems. Lack of dexterity, cannot hold small things with hands, doesn’t know how to use water bottle. Lactose intolerance.

Diagnosis

Hydrocephaly

Treatment

At this time he is quite strong and healthy so no treatment is required so far. One vet tried the homeopathic treatment Apis Mel 30C given once a day in his food but it made no difference at all. He is housed in a large hamster cage on his own with two low shelves. If he develops seizures, shelves will be removed. He is fed mostly
meat/vegetable type baby food (lactose free, occasionally complemented with Enervite), homemade pureed foods, soy milk and dog biscuits which he is able to manage as they are bigger than rat food biscuits. He
gets all the moisture he needs from the soft foods.

Outcome

So far he is living a happy and relatively healthy life, and his growth is slow but steady. He is thriving better on his own where he doesn’t have to compete for food.

Photos

hydrocephaly in 4mo. old rat

Photo 1: Shows profile view of dome shaped head in rat with hydrocephaly .
  hydrocephaly in 4 mo. old rat

Photo 2: Shows assistance given during feeding of a rat with hydrocephaly.

hydrocephaly in 4mo. old rat

Photo 3:Shows close up view of the dome shape head in rat with hydrodcephaly .
  hydrocephaly in 4 mo. old rat

Photo 4: Shows again a profile view of the dome shaped head .

Case history and photos courtesy of Sabby at http://www.alienrat.co.uk/pe.html

Cross-references

Linked from

Disclaimer

The Rat Guide and its affiliates accept no responsibility for misuse or misunderstanding of its information. This guide in whole or part, exists solely for the purpose of recognizing and understanding the care and illnesses in the pet rat. Please seek advice and treatment from a qualified Veterinarian if your rat is ill.

2000 - 2021 by Karen Grant RN. All rights reserved.
All other written and visual materials used by permission of specific authors for the sole use of the Rat Guide. Please visit our Privacy Policy for details.
Brought to you by KuddlyKorner4u
See Logos page for linking to the Rat Guide.
Contact us here: Rat Guide Team
Please note: Rat Guide email is not checked daily. Send e-mail to if you have an urgent medical problem with your pet rat. When possible, it is always best to take your rat to a qualified rat veterinarian.